Ask the Experts: Seniors & AgingSPONSORED CONTENT
Maplewood Park Place
Barbara Harry, Executive Director and Richard Balogh, Associate Executive Director, Maplewood Park Place
9707 Old Georgetown Road
Bethesda, MD 20814
Q: How can senior communities best prepare for disasters?
A: With coronavirus on everyone’s mind, preparation has taken on a new urgency. Disaster preparedness should be part of operating procedures in every senior living community to minimize potential disruptions and save lives.
At Maplewood Park Place, preparedness starts with regular and consistent training of all team members. It includes procedures to care for residents in an emergency, protect themselves and those they serve, mitigate the consequences of adverse events, and ensure an abundant stock of supplies, including food, medications, medical supplies and personal protective equipment. With regular disaster drills, Maplewood is focused on instilling confidence in residents and team members.
Q: In the COVID-19 outbreak, what should families expect from their senior care provider to keep loved ones safe?
A: Make sure your loved one’s community is following recommended practices to minimize risk and make sure they stay up to date on the latest guidelines, as procedures evolve almost daily. Ensure mandatory screening protocols are being followed, including monitoring the temperatures of residents, team members and essential visitors.
With the disruption of normal visiting among family and friends, staff can help residents communicate with family and friends through technology, such as video chats on Skype and FaceTime or participation in Facebook Watch Parties. With a little help, even in this time of “social distancing,” seniors can still feel connected to their loved ones and to the outside world.